Villa S+E

  • private home
  • Bergen, Norway
  • 2019

A commission, in the form of a collaboration, for the interior architecture of a house already designed by Canadian architect Todd Saunders, which was into its planning phase at the time.

The house sits on a steep plot on one of the mountainsides above the city centre. The entrance is from the top floor with kitchen, dining and living. The floor beneath contains the bedrooms. (A lowest, third, floor is reached via its own entrance and functions as a separate apartment.)

A big black-pigmented oak block, housing the staircase, forms a central element inserted in to the open interior space. Besides its obvious function, this free-standing volume defines the room functions of the communal entrance floor. On one side of the block is the kitchen and dining space. On the other side is the living room. Yet, the entire floor is spatially one whole room. The staircase ‘block’ almost reaches the ceiling with concealed lighting emphasizing the ‘gap’. Above the block, and along all four sides, sight lines are unhindered.

The staircase ‘block’ was proposed and designed, including the particular handrail detail, by Claesson Koivisto Rune.

In the living room, a custom made bookcase in solid Douglas Pine adds a second space-defining volume, balancing the blackened wood staircase block. The rest of the interior space surrounding the central ‘black block’ was designed to be flexible and continuous, with Dinesen solid oak plank floors running throughout. A selection of contemporary furniture pieces designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune, together with other new and classic Scandinavian designs populate the space in free-standing arrangements.